In Vienna, A Hotel Room Comes with A Night at the Opera

A performance at the Wiener Staatsoper or the Vienna State Opera

By Jonathan Spira on 5 June 2020
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I haven’t been to a live performance in a concert hall since seeing “My Fair Lady” at the Volksoper in early March, because, uh, social distancing and all, and I miss it quite a bit.  While it’s doubtful that Broadway will reopen before late fall at the earliest, and the Metropolitan Opera, which cancelled its fall season last week, may reopen New Year’s Eve, I now have the opportunity to attend a concert in real life.

Indeed, a night at the opera is a huge challenge in the age of the coronavirus. Absent a vaccine and universal testing, a performance at a theater or concert hall is risky not only for the audience but for the performers and musicians as well.

“It’s transparently obvious that social distancing and grand opera cannot go together,” Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, told the New York Times in a recent interview.

But what if the performers were few and spaced out – and each audience member (or family unit) were in a separate room?  It turns out that the Hotel Zeitgeist in Vienna was custom-made for such a series of events.

The Zeitgeist Fensterkonzerte, or Window Concerts “were intended to give artists the opportunity to perform and guests to listen to music live again,” the hotel said in a statement on its website.  “We are turning ourself into an outdoor concert hall… 100% Corona-safe.”

Thirty-nine euros gets two people a room at the hotel with a view of the stage, I mean the inner courtyard.  Room service is available for beverages and meals.  Curtain is at 6 p.m.

The program varies but it always features the Camerata Carnuntum orchestra, eight musicians who perform a very Austria program of “Klassik-Hits” ranging from Mozart to Strauß.  The concert series was organized by soprano Monika Medek, who previously had orchestrated a bi-weekly brunch for musicians in Vienna at the hotel.

I plan to try to attend a Fensterkonzert before the series ends and, in such case, a review will be forthcoming.


Hotel Zeitgeist
Sonnwendgasse 15
1100 Vienna, Austria

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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